Monkey Bar – Day Two

A little tired going to class last for day two of our rugby class at the Monkey Bar Gym. And it was snowing and slippery.

Big T and I were running late so I missed the initial first few jogs in our warmup, but lucky me got in with time for the skips, lunges and bear crawls in all four directions.

If you want a killer exercise for warming up, try bear crawls. Our warmup is in lunchlines, three times down and back about 10 meters. We bear crawl forward, backwards, then sideways facing one way and then the other. Three times each. It just burns.

Next up, we jump-roped for time. 150 forward jumps and 150 backwards jumps together for time. I should’ve done the backwards jumps first, because they are trickier. But I did forwards first and paid for it later as I was tired trying to skip that rope backwards which requires more coordination and timing. I also need to work on not using a double-jump on my backwards jumps. I finished in about 5:20. Not very good, but I know how to improve. Our better athletes were in two to three minutes, FYI.

Our main workout was clean and presses for one half of the group and then kettleball swings and bodyrows for the other group. I was in the kettleball/bodyrows group. We did 15 seconds of kettleball swings and 15 seconds of bodrows, switching back and forth for 10 minutes. I used a 12 kg. kettleball, which is about 26 pounds. I averaged 6-7 swings in my 15 seconds, but only five bodyrows by the end.

I found this good explanation of kettleball swings:

Kettlebell Swing
1. Hold one kettleball between your legs and your body is in a bentover stance with your back flat.
2. Swing the kettleball backwards and then forcefully swing the kettleball forward to a chest level. Keep your arm straight and forcefully extend your hips, knees, and ankles.

But we hold our kettleballs with both hands, not single-handed as this describes. There is even this little cartoon guy to demonstrate (he moves at the original link):

For bodyrows, we use a a two-handled strap thrown over one of the various poles and beams in our gym room (it is a veritable jungle gym in there). You set the handles at waist height, then drop down to the ground. You hang on with your hands, but you row up your body to the handles powering through your torso and hips, not a pull-up.

Here’s a semi-decent picture of a bodyrow, although we keep our backs straight:

The body rows are tough. They start out pretty easy, because you’re not using just your arms, but your torso, so that’s much stronger. But by the end, you’re just exhausted. I love the kettleball swings though. They are hard, but I really like them.

We switched to the other exercise of cleans and presses. I started by grabbing a 20-pound ball, but realized I should use a 25-pound ball. But there were none left, so I used a 30-pound ball. A bit much, so I had less reps per 15 seconds, but it was tougher, so it’s okay. I started with 4 reps per 15 seconds, but finished averaging 3 reps. With this one, we’re simply picking the ball up in a clean and then pressing it straight up above our head. Drop it back down to knee height, then clean to chest and then press. Try to hit the same number each 15 seconds. You get a 15 second break while your partner goes. This kicks your ass. With six minutes left, we were all groaning.

We used D-balls for this, basically weighted medicine balls that don’t bounce. I prefer using the balls versus trying to use a kettleball in each hand to clean and press, which is the other option. I think I would have a hard time keeping my hands coordinated and lifting together.

We cooled down with a basic yoga move to work on our core strength.

Needless to say, I’m pretty wiped out today. I’m assuming tomorrow’s soreness will be worse, but hopefully not. Overall, it was good to workout already knowing the exercises and the proper technique.

Pretty glad it’s Friday and I don’t have another workout tonight, but I’d like to make sure I run and jumprope a bit this weekend and take some nice long walks to loosen up before we work out again next Tuesday.

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2 responses to “Monkey Bar – Day Two

  1. Nursedude

    I own a couple of kettlebells (a 44 and 53 pounder), and they really are a great way to cross train. I met a guy named Derek Brigham who did the photo layouts and graphic designs on books like “Enter the Kettelbell”-you can find these books and DVD’s through

    You can also order kettelbells through the site as well.

  2. Ashley

    This workout sounds really cool. I wish we had a gym like this close by, although I did contact a cross-fit gym a year ago that is local. Maybe I should call them 🙂

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